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Decision on Danielle Willard shooting to be announced this morning
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

More than nine months after an unarmed Danielle Willard died at the hands of West Valley City drug detectives, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office has reached its conclusions about whether the shooting was justified.

District Attorney Sim Gill planned a 10 a.m. Thursday news conference at his office to announce the findings of the prolonged investigation.

The unarmed 21-year-old was shot and killed by two West Valley City Police drug detectives on Nov. 2 during a drug investigation. Police said Detectives Shaun Cowley and Kevin Salmon fired on Willard after she allegedly backed her Subaru Forester into one of the detectives.

The controversial shooting sparked simultaneous investigations into the police department, which revealed instances of mishandled evidence in its now-disbanded Neighborhood Narcotics Unit, including instances of when police kept certain seized items as "trophies."

That revelation led county and federal prosecutors to dismiss more than 100 drug cases coming out of West Valley City.

The Salt Lake Tribune will continue to update this developing story as more details become available.


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